Support for nuclear energy in the U.S. is at an all-time high, hovering at 77% in one recent survey. Georgia Power Plant Vogtle Unit 4 recently went online, becoming the “largest generator of clean energy” in the U.S. And our government wants to supercharge nuclear as well. 

For some reason, however, women aren’t warming up to nuclear just yet.

An August 2023 Pew Research poll revealed men are twice as likely to support nuclear energy than women (54% vs 28%). The same survey also found men overwhelmingly favor nuclear plants over others to generate electricity compared to women at a rate of 71% to 44%, respectively. One expert told Morning Consult in 2015 that “women are both less engaged on energy topics, and far less likely to express concern.” Another expert told the polling outfit that “messaging isn’t targeted to women” despite them having decision-making power at home.  

A Twitter/X user recently posed this question: “How do we make women love nuclear power?” Some respondents replied with clever suggestions: a Hallmark movie, giving the industry a Barbiecore treatment, getting popular singers to endorse it, or getting companies like Sephora to sponsor cooling towers.

Our Center for Energy and Conservation is eager to add a feminine touch to this subject and demystify it more. On this token, here are three ways to make women fall in love with nuclear power.

#1: Tout Nuclear Energy’s Benefits

The facts don’t lie: nuclear energy, despite being vilified as a dangerous invention, is the cleanest and most reliable energy source. 

Nuclear plants are, on average, 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than comparable wind and solar facilities. The Department of Energy reports nuclear power boasts the highest capacity factor rate of any energy source at 92.5% efficiency, compared to wind (35.4%) and solar power (24.9%). 

Concerned about solar and wind having intermittency issues, and the problems they pose to the environment? You’re not alone. Nuclear energy can quell fears about these ugly clean energy downsides because it’s actually the most land-efficient source out there. 

A single nuclear plant only requires a little over one square mile of land to operate a 1,000-megawatt (MW) facility. In comparison, wind and solar plants need 360 and 75 times more land, respectively, to generate the equivalent amount of energy.

#2: Make Nuclear Facilities Aesthetically Beautiful

If facts aren’t convincing enough, we must show that nuclear facilities are safe and can be aesthetically beautiful. After all, women are visual creatures—and we love to admire beautiful places and structures.

One company aiming to shed misconceptions about nuclear’s visual appearance is Oklo Power Inc. 

This company was co-founded by a woman, Caroline Cochran, who oversees it alongside her husband. Oklo, which recently went public, has developed a concept called the Aurora Powerhouse—fast neutron reactor micro-reactors resembling ski-chalets that are “scalable power plants ranging from 15 MW to 50 MW of electric power.” First pioneered in the 1950s, 20 fast neutron reactors are operating today. A neat factoid women will appreciate, especially those concerned about proper disposal of nuclear waste, is that these reactors can repurpose and use waste from conventional nuclear plants.

The first scaleable Oklo project is in the pre-application phase with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Oklo applied for a permit in 2020 to build onsite at the Idaho National Laboratory

Architectural Digest praised Oklo’s Aurora concept because it has the potential to power 1,000 houses, run efficiently for 20 years without refueling, and save consumers one million tons of carbon emissions while turning “nuclear waste into clean energy.”

#3: Get Influential Female Celebrities on Board with Nuclear

If these strategies aren’t effective enough, the nuclear industry will need to deploy a secret weapon: a popular celebrity with sway over women. The first person who comes to mind is megapop singer Taylor Swift, who is currently on her record-breaking The Eras Tour. 

While the 14-Grammy winner singer hasn’t yet swayed U.S. elections, she does have some pull over her fans and might compel them to consider marriage if her current relationship succeeds. Even though I’m not a Swiftie, I believe she could use her influence and prowess to boost nuclear energy like this. After all, she’s hoping to salvage her environmental record. She can do so by “going nuclear” and ditching carbon offsets. 

The “Fortnight” songstress could put nuclear energy on the map with women by naming a song about nuclear energy or dropping a lyric or two using a nuclear-related metaphor positively. 

Alternatively, at remaining The Eras Tour stops, companies specializing in nuclear energy can broker partnerships with Ms. Swift. And for future tours, should certain stadiums she plays at become powered by nuclear, companies could showcase this connection and brag about Swift being serious about clean energy.


Women who want to learn more about nuclear energy can follow and bookmark our Center for Energy and Conservation. We are working tirelessly to demystify this power source and its benefits here. 
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